SHENUTE OF ATRIPE
A Saint, abbot, He is an illustrious figure of Egyptian Christianity and a most significant Coptic writer. Around 370 Shenute became a monk under his uncle Pgol, who founded the Monastery of St. Shenute, also known as the White Monastery. After the death of the latter in about 385, Shenute became the monastery’s abbot. The monastery grew considerably during his time. According to the Arabic version of his “Life” there were 2,200 monks and 1,800 nuns associated with the White Monastery.
Shenute dealt strictly with his monks and nuns, and his rule was harsher than that of Pachomius. He strove against paganism in his region. In 431, he participated in the Council of Ephesus with Patriarch Cyril. The writings of Shenute are of great importance for the history of Coptic literature. His works are composed of about 1,870 extant leaves, which represent only a part of what may have been once 25,000 pages.